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Bulova Vintage Wristwatches

Bulova Vintage Watches - Own a Piece of History

In the late 1800s, an innovative, quality craftsman named Joseph Bulova opened a small jewelry store in New York City. Constantly looking to improve precision, Bulova used emerging technology to create many firsts of the watchmakers art, including the Accutron watch using a tuning fork to regulating time-keeping. In 1912, Bulova introduced the then-revolutionary concept of assembly line mass production to manufacturing watches.

Movements used in vintage Bulova watches

Many types of mens, ladies, and diver vintage Bulova watches are available on eBay at various prices. These affordable vintage Bulova wristwatches have three movements. Keep these variables in mind in your decision-making process:

  • Hand crank (manual) movement: The hand crank movement, also called a manual movement, has to be wound by turning the stem back and forth to "charge" the watch.
  • Self-winding: The self-winding movement has a small pendulum that uses the wearers everyday movements to wind the watch.
  • Battery/quartz movement: This uses an extremely thin quartz crystal that vibrates at an exact frequency from electric impulses supplied by a small battery. Since the first battery-powered wristwatches went into production in 1969, the number that could be classified as vintage is extremely limited.
Crystals used on Bulova watches

There are three basic types of crystals on Bulova watches that you can obtain on eBay:

  • Acrylic: This is basically a type of plastic, is the easiest to scratch, but also the easiest to repair, requiring only a quick buffing to removes scratches
  • Mineral glass: This is a specific type of heat-treated, scratch-resistant, tempered glass.
  • Sapphire glass: This is a synthetic material made by heating aluminum oxide under extreme temperatures. A sapphire crystal is several times harder than steel and is the second hardest material on earth. Only diamond is harder.
What makes the Bulova brand iconic?

In addition to being one of the first companies to advertise with radio and TV commercials, Bulova was one of the first to sponsor sporting events. Bulova watches are also part of history. When deciding among the vintage Bulova watch options on eBay, keep the following historical events in mind:

  • The Bulova Lone Eagle wristwatch was presented to Colonel Charles Lindbergh in 1927.
  • The Bulova Chronograph was worn by Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott.
  • Bulova wristwatches were worn by astronauts on 46 NASA space missions, including having a Bulova Chronograph placed in the Sea of Tranquility and left on the moon.
Do illuminated watches present a health hazard due to radioactivity?

Concerns about radioactivity may play a role in your decision-making. Early vintage Bulova watches used such small amounts of radioactive radium that they are harmless, however. More recent watches use radioactive material embedded in microscopic, hermetically sealed tubes made of borosilicate glass.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Bulova.